While hacking rumors at the biggest crypto exchange by trading volume, Binance, led to panic in the community, an official statement claims that all funds are safe and the hackers are the ones losing money this time.
Yesterday afternoon, the VIA/BTC market on Binance experienced abnormal trading activity, causing a major pump in Viacoin’s price, following which withdrawals on the exchange were suspended.
What exactly happened on Binance yesterday?
It appears that hackers had managed to accumulate user accounts over the past two months via phishing attacks (where fake websites are made to look like real ones and steal account info from legitimate users) and generated trading API keys for all compromised accounts.
The hackers patiently sat on these details until yesterday, when they launched a coordinated attack. First they choose the VIA/BTC market due to its low volume and then set up large sell orders at high prices. Then they executed trades on victims’ accounts, selling their alts for BTC and then buying VIA at high prices (while they sold their own VIA coins at the other end).
Finally, the hackers, now in possession of the stolen BTC, tried to withdraw it, but by then Binance had suspended withdrawals.
Trades reversed, hackers lose money
After investigation, Binance has pinpointed 31 accounts which seemingly belong to the hackers, and all abnormal trades executed in the VIA/BTC market are going to be reversed.
Moreover, since all withdrawals were suspended at the time, the hackers’ original Viacoins were also withheld, and according to the CEO, they will be donated to charity.
Binance lists ONT
Additionally, Binance, which supported the recent ONT airdrop for NEO holders, has now listed ONT/BNB, ONT/BTC and ONT/ETH pairs, allowing users to deposit their ONT and start trading.
Even though Binance is constantly under a lot of scrutiny and pressure on account of being the top exchange, it has managed to counter criticism with transparent communication.